October 25, 2013




I don't want to begin to speculate on why a 14-year-old that, according to classmates and school officials, was a quiet, happy, fairly popular student could ever commit such a terrible act. But, for anyone to commit murder, it takes some sort of thought before execution. 


Are European nations justified in their anger that the U.S. has been actively spying on not just citizens in foreign countries, but the heads of state in those countries, as well?


AT: This is the easiest question to answer: unequivocally, yes.

What is the purpose of an ally, of NATO, of military cooperation if it is not accompanied by trust? I understand the NSA collecting data on citizens in foreign countries. It should be done with the full cooperation of other national security agencies, but the need is there.

There is no conceivable reason to spy on the leaders of a country we have a huge military base in. Why do we care what's on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone? I fail to see how the revelation that she enjoys a lager with her sausage for Sunday afternoon lunch is relevant to our national security….unless, of course, we're unlocking the secret to a newly designed bratwurst bomb.

There is also no basis for the argument that these countries should not blame us for spying when "everyone knows" they do the same to us. I like to think a NATO ally has no reason for spying on the U.S., since there is little place for secrets among friends. Save the drama for China, Iran, Syria, Pakistan; this wanton, all-inclusive information gathering by the NSA will only waste time, money, and friendships.


JB: Well, as a man of Jewish decent I can't say I'm overly upset that we've been spying on Germany. I don't really see the point, given one of our largest military bases is located in Deutschland, but hey, safe is safe. 

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